Lagos adopts Boston model on the environment

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (4th right), with Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment, Mr. Abdul Mustapha; Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Dr. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti; Chief of Economic Development, Office of the Mayor, Mr. John Barros; Mayor of Boston, Mr. Marty Walsh; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Development, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas and Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya during a meeting with the Mayor of Boston at the Boston City Hall, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A

The Lagos State Government has unveiled plans to adopt the Boston model to clean up the State Waterways and tackle other environmental issues confronting the state.

State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode made this known shortly after a meeting with the Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh and the Executive Director of Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Mr Paul Levy in the United States of America.

Governor Ambode also held discussions on a Sister-City Collaboration with Boston on areas of mutual economic partnership between Lagos and Boston.

Mr Levy recalled the Boston Waterways and sewage crises and explained to the Governor and his team on how the government worked hard for years to clean up the harbour as well to provide clean portable water to the people of Boston.

The Mayor described Governor Ambode’s visit as a homecoming recalling that the Governor was, earlier in his career, a Fulbright Scholar at the Boston University and also worked in the State Treasury Department.

L-R:* Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with Faculty Director, Legatum Center & member of UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology, Professor Fiona Murray and Associate Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester during a meeting between the MIT Africa Initiative and Lagos State Government in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A,
L-R:* Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, with Faculty Director, Legatum Center & member of UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, Professor Fiona Murray and Associate Provost for International Activities, Professor Richard Lester during a meeting between the MIT Africa Initiative and Lagos State Government in Boston,
Massachusetts, U.S.A.

The Mayor and his team identified areas of mutual interest with Lagos and pushed for collaboration with both cities considering the numerous similarities they share.

Governor Ambode, on his part, said that the knowledge and experience he gained from Boston helped shape his career and benefited him in his position as Governor.

He pledged to explore areas where Lagos could partner with Boston, especially in the clean-up of the Lagos waterways and gave insights into the investment opportunities available in Lagos, stating that Lagos is the prime destination for investments in Nigeria.

MIT partnership

In a related development, Governor Ambode in a meeting with senior officials of the MIT Faculty and the MIT Africa Initiative in Cambridge, Boston Massachusetts, confirmed that the State Government had entered into a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) for the use of innovation and technology to tackle the challenges facing Lagos State.

Governor Ambode informed the MIT Team that Lagos remained the technology hub of Africa with Yaba now globally acclaimed as a hotspot for start-ups, assuring that the MIT that his government would continually work to create an environment where new businesses would
thrive as well as support more tech hubs in Lagos.

“We are Africa’s largest market and we represent a huge opportunity for businesses with solutions that can match our ambitions; Lagos is open to new ideas, Lagos is open for business, Lagos is open for innovation, we welcome new and different perspectives, that is why we are here at MIT, we hope to gain more partners as we continue with the
business of making sure that Nigeria and Africa succeeds,” he reiterated.